It’s no secret that successful athletes must consistently put in the physical work to hit their goals, but often that’s just the half of it. When it comes to unlocking your full athletic potential, the importance of the mental aspect shouldn’t be underestimated.
That’s where hypnotherapy can play a role. The power of hypnosis has been recognised by professional and amateur athletes alike for many years as a complement to their physical training regime. It’s been proven to help reinforce self-belief, maintain healthy habits, reduce stress and help with visualisation of desired outcomes.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or just enjoy playing sports for fun with friends, improving sports performance with hypnotherapy might just be the piece of the puzzle you’re missing to gain that edge over your competitors.
What is sports performance hypnosis?
Sports hypnosis is typically defined as “hypnotism directly targeted towards improving sports performance.” Often a session will include self-visualisation, for example, a footballer might use sports hypnosis to vividly imagine taking the perfect penalty, or a gymnast might visualize nailing the skill they have been struggling to hit.
Another aspect of sports hypnosis is about creating self-confidence and positive expectations. In short, hypnotherapy can contribute to honing in on that winning mind-set.
How can it help me?
Some athletes use hypnotherapy to return to a sport after a certain setback like a mental block or an injury, whilst others use it on a more regular basis to maintain consistency in their practice.
Negative thoughts are a battle that most athletes face at points in their career. The reality is that a lack of self belief can be extremely damaging to performance. Hypnotherapy works to replace those negative thoughts with feelings of confidence and self-belief. This can be particularly helpful if you’re recovering from an injury, which often involves a knock in confidence.
Lowers stress and anxiety
You don’t have to be a scientist to know that stress and anxiety are never beneficial to athletic success. Hypnotherapy can help to reduce cortisol levels, bringing the mind and body back into balance and removing the ‘mental chatter’ that only serves to distract you from performing your best.
A winning mind-set
Hypnotic techniques like neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) help you to visualise future success in your mind, and even helps athletes to envision themselves practicing the minutiae of their technique in slow motion. Focusing on strategy in alternative ways to just physical practice can really give athletes that ‘winning edge’.
Taking a holistic approach to your training regime and incorporating sports hypnosis could be exactly what you need to help excel you beyond what you previously thought possible. A sports hypnotherapist will help you to embrace the ‘mind/body connection’ – something that shouldn’t be ignored if you’re looking to unlock your fullest sporting potential.
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